Coming off the heels of the major announcement that rEvolution would be acquiring Detroit-based sports, automotive and luxury lifestyle agency Centigrade, the energy, excitement and enthusiasm at rEvolution’s global HQ in Chicago is palpable. All of us are thrilled to be adding new team members, new capabilities and a new office to the arsenal – but none more so than CEO, Founder and Detroit native, John Rowady.
“People from Detroit are passionate, real people who are hard-working, family-oriented and down to earth,” said John. “And that is exemplified by the amazing staff from Centigrade who are joining our team.”
Born and raised on the east side of Detroit, John has a rich family history in the automotive industry – his grandfather worked for Chrysler automotive and was involved in the World War II effort in Detroit to manufacture tanks and missiles. His father, an automotive engineer, was integral in the development of the airbag and cruise control systems.
This, combined with his interest in playing and watching sports with his three brothers, helped fuel his passion for motorsports, a passion that is interwoven into his life and career.
“Because we were so closely tied to the industry, I was fortunate to be able to attend some of the first Formula 1 and IndyCar races that came through the streets of Detroit. I am a big fan of Roger Penske, Emerson Fittipaldi and Rick Mears – and this was that big era of racing I grew up in.”
The acquisition of Centigrade brings a portfolio of luxury car clients, including Lamborghini, Bugatti and Lotus – deepening rEvolution’s expertise in motorsports while also adding a component of the lifestyle side of the industry.
“Having great automotive business is a cornerstone for major marketing and media agencies,” he continued. “So these types of relationships, companies, and expertise are elusive to gain for so many industry marketing professionals.”
rEvolution’s new Detroit office is located north of downtown in a modern office warehouse set-up, but close enough to all the action for associates to live and experience the great culture and amenities the city has to offer. And John has incredible recommendations for what to do and were to go in his hometown.
“Get out on the water! Boat on Lake St. Clair, head down the Detroit River and end up at Sinbads for their famous perch dinner. I also recommend the July 4th celebration, of course going to a Red Wings game and rounding out your day at the Old Shillelagh. For restaurants – you have to try the Middle Eastern food, especially at Elie’s Mediterranean Grill, and taste the world’s best meat pie at Emily’s Delicatessen.”
On both a personal and professional level, John and the entire team are thrilled to expand into Detroit. As the acquisition continues and the teams integrate, the potential for greatness grows exponentially – merging talents and capabilities of people from two great Midwestern cities.
“It’s a proud moment for me and my family as it relates to now having a physical presence with great people and great clients in Metro Detroit. To be able to give back to Michigan and Detroit through the success of rEvolution with the benefit of a like-minded company partner, it’s a huge win. When I told my older brother, who lives in Detroit, that I found a great company to help expand our business, he said, ‘Well, it’s about time.”